Bourne Academy 6 – Mary’s Mandatory Makeover

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Heather Richards, the new headmistress of the Bourne Academy, was nearly two weeks into her role of turning around the fortunes of the once prestigious institution. Known for her strict and authoritarian demeanour, she had full authority to make necessary changes. One of the first things she noticed was that the students’ appearance needed improvement and she had instigated significant changes that had met with varying degrees of acceptance.

Settled at the large desk in her study, working slowly through a large pile of paperwork, Heather was disturbed by an unexpected knock on the door. In marched Donna Masters, the Chairwoman of the Academy Board of Governors, along with her deputy Alice Taylor. The pair had met with Heather a few days earlier following complaints about the methods employed by the new headmistress, but they left with a much better understanding, and they renewed their support for Heather’s regime.

‘Good morning, Miss Richards. Please excuse our interruption,’ Donna apologised, ‘but we have a matter of great importance to raise with you.’

Heather sighed, assuming it was more of the same, but waved her hand, encouraging the Chairwoman to continue.

Donna was in her late forties and wore a smart black and white checked skirt suit, with her hair in a short, crisp permed style. She had a no-nonsense attitude, just like Heather, and the other governors respected her. Since the previous meeting, Alice had adopted a more conservative appearance at her senior colleague’s suggestion.

On this occasion, Mary Rogers accompanied them. She was youngest and most inexperienced of the academy’s governors at just twenty-nine. Although it was a business meeting, she wore a colourful floral dress with a white cardigan, and she had pinned up her abundant honey blonde hair in a deliberately messy updo. In Donna’s opinion, Mary dressed too informally and was far too young to be serving as an Academy governor. However, the Chairwoman was obliged to respect Mary’s family links to the academy.

Mary had no need to work as she came from a wealthy family and was engaged to an up-and-coming politician. Her connections had helped her secure the governor role, and she was expected to conform to the expectations of her family and her boyfriend’s family. They wanted her to do something useful with her time and put something back into the community.

As they all settled in, Heather could sense a tension in the room. Donna and Alice were excitedly whispering to each other, while Mary seemed nervous and fidgety. Heather had already been informed that Donna had persuaded all but one of the governors to adopt her view. It transpired that Mary needed further convincing, and it was why Heather and Alice had brought her along to meet Heather.

‘As I’m sure you remember Miss Richards, Alice accompanied me to the previous meeting,’ Donna said, trying to ease the tension. ‘She was dubious about your methods at first, but after experiencing them firsthand, she’s now a strong advocate.’

Alice, who was sitting next to Mary, nodded in agreement. She used to have a flamboyant casual style, but at Donna’s suggestion, she now wore a drab dark grey skirt suit and a modest blouse, which complemented her new haircut, namely a regulation bowlcut that the academy barber have her on her previous visit.

Heather raised an eyebrow at Alice’s new appearance, but she did not comment on it. She knew that she was showing her support by changing her own appearance and Heather respected that.

‘Now, let’s get to the matter at hand. Surely, Miss Rogers, it’s obvious,’ Donna Masters opined, ‘that giving the students an identical regulation haircut will not only improve their appearance but also instil discipline and conformity.’

‘It’s not obvious, at all,’ Mary said, unconvinced and looking uncomfortable now all eyes were turned towards her. ‘They are young girls, and they need to be nurtured, not disciplined. They should have the freedom to express themselves, within fair and constructive guidelines that we democratically agree. And, besides, the regulation hairstyle you’ve mandated is far too severe.’

‘Nonsense, it’s a very smart haircut,’ Donna refuted, while Alice sagely nodded her agreement as she rubbed the bare neck of her own bowlcut.

Donna and Heather shared a knowing look. They had dealt with this type of argument before, and they knew it was time to take a different approach.

‘Mary, I respect your opinion,’ Heather said, trying to sound calm. ‘But as the headmistress, it is my responsibility to maintain discipline and ensure that the students are following the rules.’

‘But what about their individuality?’ Mary continued to argue. ‘The students should have the freedom to be the best version of themselves.’

‘Individuality is important, but it should not come at the cost of discipline and a proper education,’ Donna chimed in.

The frank discussion continued but ended up going around in circles with neither faction being willing to compromise. Eventually, it reached a point where the exasperated Chairwoman gave Mary the opportunity to resign as a governor if she could not reconcile her views on Miss Richards’ methods. Mary, trying to demonstrate assertiveness, suddenly realised that she had pushed her views too far. She pleaded to remain a governor to show her family she could hold down a worthwhile position in the community.

‘Please, I don’t want to resign,’ Mary pleaded. ‘I’ll do whatever it takes to remain a governor.’

‘Whatever it takes, eh? Heather smiled enigmatically, and Mary nodded eagerly. ‘Let’s give you a tour of the academy, Mary, starting with meeting our Ms Shearer, the academy barber,’ she suggested, giving a sly wink to Donna who smiled her understanding. ‘She’s only next door. It will give you a greater insight into my methods and allow you to see, first hand, the impact of the academy’s rules and regulations.’

Mary did not really see the point or know what to expect but, rather like a petulant schoolgirl, she reluctantly nodded her agreement.

Heather led the way to the barbershop, which was located just next to her office. As they entered, Mary was brought up short by the sight of a tall, attractive, but rather intimidating woman. She wore a noticeably short white nylon tunic that moulded itself to her curves and showed off her long legs. Her black hair was cropped severely short, and the back and sides were shaved to the skin. She was none other than Brenda Shearer, the new academy barber.

= * = * =

‘Well, this is a pretty one,’ Brenda smirked, as she held Mary’s chin and moved her head from side to side as she inspected her the young governor’s hair with a critical eye. ‘A little older than some, but we can make her appear much younger, can’t we girls?’

Heather was surprised by what was, for Brenda, a long speech. Meanwhile, Donna and Alice tittered like schoolgirls at Brenda’s assessment and treatment of their colleague.

Mary blushed, finding the barber’s manner and appearance overpowering, but in a good way. ‘Thank you, Ms Shearer,’ she murmured bashfully.

The headmistress briefed Brenda about the situation, while Mary simply stared doe-eyed at the intoxicating barber, much to the surprise of the two senior governors.

‘I don’t know what you keep up in that huge bird’s nest, young lady,’ Ms Shearer rudely opined, tapping Mary’s messily styled updo a few times, ‘but it’s not fashionable, it’s not attractive … and it’s not staying.’

‘P… P… Pardon?’ Mary stuttered, as she came out of her trance, the scary implication of what Brenda said acting like a slap around her face.

‘You heard,’ Brenda said sternly, unused to being questioned. ‘So, you better drop your pert little bottom down in my chair, young lady, right now,’ she urged, beckoning with her finger.

‘Yes … but …’ Mary mumbled, but only pausing briefly before she did as she was told. ‘Er, Ms Shearer …’

Brenda, ignoring Mary’s mumblings, covered her with a large white cape and unravelled the messy updo perched on the young governor’s head with some difficulty. It revealed that her hair was far longer than waist length. The barber brushed her hair into a ponytail then, smirking at Mary in the mirror, confidently brandished her largest scissors, clicking the blades together several times.

‘Please, Ms Shearer, ‘ Mary whimpered, looking like a sweet little animal caught in the headlights of a car, ‘I’m really not sure …’

‘Now, now, no tears young lady,’ Brenda scolded.

The headmistress was surprised as she had never known the barber show any compassion when cutting hair. With Mary’s immediate and obvious infatuation with Brenda, she wondered if Brenda might reciprocate.

‘But Ms Shearer … my lovely hair …’ Mary whined in the manner of a petulant child used to having her own way.

‘Do you wish to remain a governor, Miss Rogers?’ the Chairwoman piped up, her tone stern.

Mary nodded resignedly and, without a word, the Brenda Shearer severed her ponytail and placed it on the shelf in front of her. ‘As you’re so worried, there’s your lovely hair, young lady,’ Brenda sneered sarcastically, ‘so now to get on with the real work.’

‘What are you going to do to me?’ Mary cried.

Given their mutual attraction, Brenda wondered if Mary was aware of the double meaning in her question. The barber ran through a series of inappropriate answers in her mind but decided to keep things clean. Smirking, Brenda answered by saying, ‘I’m going to do what’s needed to be done for quite some time.’

‘Oh …’ was the only response Mary could manage, shivering at the sight the hairclippers in the barber’s hand.

‘These don’t hurt,’ Brenda joked, ready to work her magic, ‘well, not too much …’

Heather was amazed. She had never known Brenda Shearer to be so verbose and flippant when working.

‘Oh!’ Mary repeated, as she felt the cold blade of the hairclippers pressing against her head.

Brenda carved the bowl shape of the regulation haircut, high above Mary’s ears. She cut a higher fringe covering her forehead, then buzzed Mary’s neck and the back of her head.

Mary’s alarmed expression indicated that she was not keen on what Brenda was doing to her hair. However, her gentle moans – punctuated by the occasional “oh!” – strongly suggested that she was aroused by the process itself, as well as enjoying the proximity of the person who was doing it.

The last action by Brenda of running the foil shaver back and forth over the young governor’s sensitive and smooth skin, had resulted in Mary biting her lip as if holding back her powerful emotions.

‘And now that’s a done, you’re a very pretty one, aren’t you?’ Brenda said proudly, holding up a mirror for Mary to view the devastation that the barber had wrought on her hair.

‘If you say so, Ms Shearer,’ Mary whimpered, her face flushed with arousal. ‘Thank you, Ms Shearer.’

‘Yes, very smart indeed,’ the Chairwoman chipped in, clapping her hands together with glee.

‘Thank you, Mrs Masters,’ Mary acknowledged.

‘And in the future, if you wish to remain a governor,’ Donna went on, ‘you will dress in smart formal wear that is in keeping with your lovely new haircut, rather than a childish dress and a woolly cardigan. Is that understood?’

‘Yes, Mrs Masters, I will,’ Mary confirmed, ‘and I now have a much better understanding of methods used by the headmistress … and, er, Ms Shearer. Sorry I doubted you before, Miss Richards.’

Heather waved the apology away dismissively, then winked at Brenda with a broad smile to show her appreciation for the way she had turned around a potentially tricky situation.

As Brenda dusted away the loose snippets of hair and removed the large white cape, Mary could not help but feel a little humiliated. But Mary could also not deny that Brenda’s intimidating manner and appearance was attractive to her.

While the governors and the headmistress were congratulating themselves on moving things forward, Mary took the opportunity to whisper in Brenda’s ear. ‘Please, Ms Shearer, may I see you regularly … er, to keep my hair looking smart?’

‘Of course you can, young lady,’ Brenda said seductively, patting her on the shoulder comfortingly, and managing to artfully run a finger up and down her bare neck. ‘I look forward to our next meeting.’

‘Me too,’ Mary responded eagerly, quivering at Brenda’s touch.

Mary was beaming with a sense of excitement as she joined her colleagues. Farewells were exchanged and the governors left.

Brenda turned to Heather, smirking. ‘It seems we now have our own little spy on the Board of Governors. How useful.’

‘And you have a lovely little admirer,’ Heather responded. ‘How sweet.’

They both laughed, knowing that Mary had fallen under their spell regarding the changes to the academy, while she was a little more spellbound where Brenda Shearer was concerned.

= * = * =

From that day on, Mary became a regular visitor to the barbershop, as well as becoming the strongest advocate for Heather’s methods. Mary, although a little older than the students, found herself enjoying the strict rules and regulations of the academy and her youthful appearance would have easily allowed her to blend in. Furthermore, as directed by the Chairwoman of the Board of Governors, she adopted a formal but bland approach to her attire. She appeared for meetings wearing a dark grey skirt suit paired with a modest blouse that was in keeping with her stark new bowlcut.

But most importantly, Mary Rogers finally accepted her true self and embraced her attraction towards women. In the longer term, Mary was unsure how she would allow this realisation to affect her engagement to the young politician, but that was an issue for the future.

Miss Richards was not only turning around the fortunes of The Bourne Academy for the benefit of the students, but she was also helping people like Mary find their true identity.

TO BE CONTINUED

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